Discover more from The Pick and Roll
Aussies in NBA: Bogut's the A-hole you want on your side
What would you do if someone called you an asshole? Call them something worse, flip them the bird maybe? Maybe next time take a leaf out of Andrew Bogut's book and reply with this:
"I’m an asshole. Yes, 100 percent.”
What makes professional team sports like basketball so fascinating to watch, is the sight of high-level athletes working together towards a common goal. These are players at the very peak of their profession, most of whom have been told all their lives that they're the special, absolutely indispensable unique snowflake of their youth teams growing up. Combine the blood, sweat, and tears they put in to get to where they are, it's inevitable pride and ego are two things that will come up and cause friction.
We celebrate the champions, because they usually are examples of how egos can be put aside for the greater good. The reason why 'sacrifice' and 'buying in', among other terms, have become so cliche when it comes to describing each year's champs is because they still ring true, to some extent. No one superstar can win it all on his own.
Maintaining a positive culture across the team --from the number one option to the towel-waving 15th man-- is a delicate balancing act that requires a variety of personalities to make it work. Andrew Bogut says so, and his words, being an NBA champion and all, tend to hold some weight.
"Really good teams got to have some crazy guys," Bogut said on the The Jim Rome Show. "You got to have some guys that are quiet and humble, you got to have some guys that are loud and proud, and I think we have a good mix of both or everything to be honest."
We know the type of guy Bogues sees himself as.
Secondly, his rim-protection regularly embarrasses opponents (as Mason Plumlee is finding out a lot about recently)...
https://youtu.be/bzqNoo0Ss5c?t=32s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj_7W2vyQcQ Thirdly, he won't even dap opposing players before games.
"We shake hands in Australia," Bogut explained. "So if you come to shake hands and someone wants to fist-bump, it’s just too confusing. Just let it go. Play basketball."
And lastly, he's not afraid to call out people for saying mindless things about his teammates:
"People are idiots. People that look at stats every game, pick up the stat sheet and say you played bad because of X, Y, Z on the stat sheet, they’re idiots," said Bogues regarding criticism of Harrison Barnes' play. "Everyone looks at it, oh, [Barnes] only scored four points, he played bad. No, not necessarily. His defense has gotten a lot better; he’s starting to make the right play for us, with the hockey assist, which we haven’t seen early in his career. So people that just look at stats and fantasy guys are idiots."
So it's easy to see that while Andy B might be a little bit of an asshole, you'd definitely want him on your team. His coach certainly does.
"I think he’s highly underrated," Steve Kerr said. "He’s one of the top centers in the league. When he’s feeling confident, you get lob dunks, spectacular blocked shots. We know he’s a brilliant passer." A little bit of sugar to go with the spice.
"You need a bit of both,” Bogut said. "A lot of nice guys and then guys like me and Draymond. We want to make sure we have their backs at all times.
"The most successful teams in league history have had a good mix of everything: nice guys, killer-instinct guys and those who aren’t afraid to mix it up."
Looks like Bogey is playing his role to perfection.